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602 Ratings


Directed by Sean Baker
United States, 2012


The film explores the unlikely friendship between 21-year-old Jane (Dree Hemingway), and 85 year-old Sadie (Besedka Johnson), two women whose worlds collide in California’s San Fernando Valley.

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Starlet Directed by Sean Baker

Awards & Festivals

Locarno International Film Festival

2012 | Winner: Junior Jury Award (International Competition)

Film Independent Spirit Awards

2013 | Winner: Robert Altman Award

2013 | Nominee: John Cassavetes Award

SXSW Film Festival

2012 | Winner: Narrative Competition (Special Jury Award)

Mar del Plata International Film Festival


What are people saying?

  • Leroy Martin's rating of the film Starlet

    I'm reviewing this film again because I feel like it deserves it. Before Tangerine, Sean Baker directed another non-explotive movie about female friendship and sex workers. Starlet is flawless. It's definitely one of those movies I went in expecting nothing extraordinary and getting blown away with how beautiful it is. It's now on netflix so please check it out! In my opinion, one of the most underrated indies

  • spiderliliez's rating of the film Starlet

    When a young porn actress befriends an 85-year-old reclusive widow, you can't really know what to expect. Besedka Johnson (RIP), made this her first and last film, and she was phenomenal! Dree Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway's great grand daughter) is sublime and portrayed her character so convincingly, with a brush of spunk and grace. "Starlet" is visually stunning, riveting, and emotionally pleasing. I am blown away.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Starlet

    Although this movie is not my type of movie, it became my type of movie. I think of California as a sunny place full of empty people. Jane is a nothing person, but her roommates are less than zero. I was seduced by the camera work, which reveals mostly the spaces between the people rather than the people. The only thing that's real is Sadie, and she helps Jane become something more.

  • Matthew_Lucas's rating of the film Starlet

    Disarmingly powerful film about a young porn actress who discovers thousands of dollars in a thermos she buys from an old woman at a yard sale. When her moral conundrum turns into a strange friendship with grumpy and lonely old woman, the two find in each other a kinship that neither could have expected. Sean Baker's neorealist style adds truth to this engaging and deeply moving work.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Starlet

    Great buddy film from Sean Baker! After this one and TANGERINE, i am a fan!!!

  • Quattro's rating of the film Starlet

    Awww she's cute! They're cute! Starlet is cute! And the colors, as light as air! Sooo indie-ish and sometimes cheesy, but I guess it pays back. Some great moments in here. For some reason I loved the opening, and the final fade-out as well. For some reason I liked it all! // Edit: after a few weeks I realized I had developed some sort of obsession for this movie. May be the overall mood, or the soundtrack. Dunno why.

  • Graham Ball's rating of the film Starlet

    A strong 4.5 for many reasons. Came to this one via 'Tangerine' and I think 'Starlet' is actually the stronger of the two films. The performances seem so natural and effortless; love Dree Hemingway, there's just something so authentic about her screen presence/ performance. Sean Baker is carving a nice, unique and idiosyncratic niche for himself! He has my attention...

  • DisRegarding Henry's rating of the film Starlet

    After seeing Tangerine, I had to check this one out. Didn't have the same humor or energy but at it's core it had exactly what made Tangerine so special; two extraordinary characters, a perfectly observed relationship, and absolutely stunning performances from these two newcomers. Dree Hemingway and Besedka Johnson are so authentic you'd swear they were just playing themselves in real situations.